Dental Implants Exeter - Your Long-Term Solution for Missing Teeth
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is the best/most-advanced option for the long-term replacement of one or more missing teeth and is superior to treatments such as regular dentures and bridges which are less comfortable, convenient and cost-effective.
The process itself is relatively painless and involves placing a tiny titanium screw in the jaw bone where the natural tooth came out. This then fuses with the bone to act as the missing tooth root. A crown or dental bridge can then be fitted, restoring both the teeth and gums.
The procedure is the optimal choice for replacing missing teeth, whatever your age and can be combined with a crown or dental bridge or used to hold loose dentures in place (known as implant-retained dentures.)
Why we recommend dental implants
The absence of a single tooth/multiple teeth can have a serious impact on your overall dental health.
Surrounding teeth will begin to weaken and “drift” as there’s nothing to keep them in their proper positions and this can result in problems with bite (malocclusion), damage to teeth and pressure in the jaw that causes pain and headaches.
The structure of the jaw itself will become compromised without the stimulation the tooth root provides, leading to bone loss in the affected area which can in turn cause problems with other teeth and produce an ageing effect in the face.
With dental implants, the implant is rooted into the jaw and functions in much the same way as a natural tooth. This ensures that the surrounding teeth are correctly supported and stabilised while preserving the jaw bone.
Advantages of dental implants
- Dental implants feel like your own teeth
- They are fixed so don’t need to be removed in order to clean
- No additional plastic or plates need to be left in the mouth as is the case with dentures
- Implants are the most aesthetically-pleasing option for replacement teeth
- They look like your own teeth so no-one will notice you have an implant, even if it’s a front tooth
- In most cases, surrounding teeth do not need to be filed or treated at all as is common with regular dental bridges
- Dental implants work extremely well for replacing either single or multiple teeth where even a patient’s entire upper or lower arches of teeth can be replaced
Our Dental Implant Consultation Process
An initial implant consultation is vital, so we can understand your concerns and expectations. We then carry out a thorough examination to check your suitability for treatment. This will involve taking x-rays of the upper and lower jaw, to check the available bone and to ensure there is no hidden infection or pathology. Impressions and photographs will also be taken.
It is important when considering implant dentistry that you fully understand the treatment and the expected outcomes. There may be alternative treatments you wish to consider, notably a dental bridge or a denture. Once you have discussed the options, we will give you your own personal treatment plan and all the time you need to think things through. If you wish to make a further appointment to discuss any concerns, then we will be happy to arrange this for you.
Please call us on 01392 877494 if you would like to know more or to book an appointment.
The Dental Implant Process
1. Placing the Implant
The initial stage of treatment is where our dental implant surgeon will place a titanium post into the jaw bone in the location of the missing tooth. The treatment is done under local anaesthetic and is relatively painless. As with any kind of surgery, there may be some discomfort after the procedure is completed however this will pass quickly as the area around the implant begins to heal itself. During this time, over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol may help.
2. Biological Integration
After the implant is placed, it begins to integrate with the bone (a process known as biological integration) which usually takes 8-12 weeks, although this may vary depending on the individual.
Once biological integration is complete, the implant is strong and stable enough for a new crown or bridge to be fitted.
3. Restoring the Dental Implant
With your implant secure in your jaw bone, the final stage of your treatment can be completed as the final restoration is fitted. A crown will be custom-made for you and the securely fitted to the implant. Once your new tooth is in place, it will look, feel and function like a natural tooth.
Meet Our Implantologist – Dr Richard Brookshaw
Richard Brookshaw is a peripatetic surgeon who exclusively practices all aspects of implant dentistry, including hard and soft tissue augmentation, sinus grafting and immediate loading. Richard is both nationally and internationally respected as a lecturer and was one of the first five implant dentists in the country to be awarded the Diploma in Implant Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (DipImpDent RCS Ed). He is also one of the few advanced zygomatic implant surgeons worldwide, implementing a specifically adapted protocol developed with his team.
Dr Brookshaw first qualified in 1996 from the University of Dundee. Then in 1999 he gained his Masters degree in Oral Surgery from the University of Sheffield and further extended his clinical qualification in 2001 by completing an 18 month Implant Training Programme.
In 2009, he attained the highest honours award in the implant masters program from University of California Los Angeles/ Gide program.
Richard was also one of the first six in the UK to gain The Diploma in Implant Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh at its first sitting.
Dr Richard Brookshaw BDS BMedSci (oral surgery) Dip Imp Dent RCS Ed (practice limited to implant dentistry) Dr Brookshaw is one of the few dentists qualified/experienced to provide Zygomatic Implants. Implants used to restore upper arches that have very limited bone and avoids complex surgery. All On 4
GDC number 72150
Frequently-Asked Questions about Dental Implants
Am I good candidate for dental implant treatment?
The ideal dental implant patient is over 18 years old, in good general/dental health and is free of gum disease.
It’s also important that there is sufficient bone in the jaw for the implant to be placed within, although there are bone augmentation techniques that can help where bone mass is lacking).
Generally speaking, if you’re healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction, you’re healthy enough for a dental implant.
How much do dental implants cost?
A dental implant is indeed a financial investment, but can work out cheaper than alternative treatments in the long run – thanks to the life-span of the implant. Please see our price list for current prices.
For registered patients, we also offer finance for up to 5 years for treatment plans over £500, subject to status and T&Cs.
How many dental implants will I need?
For one or two missing teeth, you’ll typically require one dental implant per tooth.
Where a greater number of teeth need replacing, it’s possible to use relatively fewer implants depending on where the implants need to be located and the density of the bone in your jaw.
For example, in many cases it’s possible to support a 4-tooth bridge with just 2 implants, or an entire arch of dentures with 4 implants.
How long is the treatment process?
The actual implant procedure can be performed in a single visit taking just an hour or two.
Once in place, your implants will need an average of 2-3 months to fully integrate with the surrounding bone tissue.
When this biological integration is complete and the implant secure, your new dental crown, bridge or denture can be fitted onto the implant.
How long do dental implants last?
In many cases, your dental implants will last a lifetime. The crown that’s fixed on the top of the implant may require replacing after 10 to 15 years depending on wear and tear, although this can be extended with proper care.
What is the success rate for dental implants?
Dental implant treatment is highly successful – 80-95% over 15 years if you are in good dental health. The success rate drops slightly for patients who are susceptible to gum disease: 80-85% over 7 years.
At DENTIST we’ll make sure you are dentally-fit before your implant journey begins and will also give you all necessary oral healthcare advise and training to ensure you stay that way.
What do I need to consider before choosing a dentist for dental implants?
There are a number of factors to consider before choosing a dentist for dental implant treatment. Here are some things to look out for or ask about:
The dental implant qualifications of the dentist
The dentist should have a MSc or post graduate diploma in implant dentistry as well as training in bone augmentation for patients who lack the ideal bone density in the jaw. They should also be equipped to deal with any complications which may arise after the implant has been placed.
How long have they been working and how many implants do they place per month on average?
Take a look at the reviews left by other patients who’ve had their implants placed by the dentist you’re considering. Also, find out if other dentists refer patients to them for implants.
Dental implant treatment requires the appropriate technology and equipment.
Implant materials need to have a proven track record of safety and effectiveness.
The practice should also ideally be equipped with an in-house 3D scanners to aid with mapping the mouth and the placement of implants. Computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM) systems help the dentist ensure that the dental crowns placed on top of the implants appear the same as the patient’s other teeth.
How should I maintain my dental implant?
Dental implants should be cared for in the same way you’d care for your other teeth. Implants cannot get cavities but they can still become affected by gum disease so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and brush and floss daily. As is the case with other patients, it’s a good idea to pop in to see the dentist regularly for a check-up and to have a hygiene appointment in the same visit. Over time you may well forget that you even have a dental implant!
When should I have an implant fitted?
Missing teeth can cause a number of dental problems so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. Empty gaps in the mouth can result in bone loss in the jaw, allow neighbouring teeth to “drift” into the unoccupied gaps and cause bite issues (malocclusion) that, in turn, can lead to damage to other teeth, jaw pain and headaches.
When a lost tooth is replaced on a timely basis, you’ll avoid these issues and be able to maintain your overall oral health, eat comfortably and feel confident with your smile.
Dental Implants Periodontist
Dental implants Exeter – important note regarding periodontists: dental implants and periodontal treatment to go hand-in-hand although, in most cases, it is not necessary for dental implant patients to see a specialist periodontist as dentists and implantologists are well-equipped to handle the majority of periodontal issues.
Before you undergo any dental implant treatment, for the treatment to stand the best chances of success, it’s essential that your gums are in as good health as they can be. Likewise, once the implant has been securely placed with the jaw bone, it’s essential to maintain good dental hygiene in order to prevent complications. Your dental health pre- and post-implant placement is our absolute priority here at The Whyte House Dental Group and is as important as your overall satisfaction with the look and feel or your new tooth/teeth.
Bone Loss and Implants
If you have experienced bone loss and there is insufficient bone for an implant to be placed, there are techniques to help with this and will be able to advise you during your initial consultation.